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Windward Seeks to Capture Investor Tech Interest with London IPO 

Windward AI tech company plans stock offering in London
Windward uses AI and Big Data to develop proprietory vessel histories (Windward)

Published Dec 1, 2021 6:40 PM by The Maritime Executive

Maritime predictive intelligence company Windward, which was founded by two former officers from the Israeli Navy, plans to go public next week in London as it seeks to further expand the company. Founded in 2010, the company is seeking to capture investors' interest in advanced technologies raising an estimated $35 million in new capital and giving the company a total valuation of $170 million.

Windward is a leading predictive intelligence company fusing artificial intelligence (AI) and maritime expertise seeking to digitalize the global maritime industry. The company reports more than 70 customers, including BP, Shell, HSBC, and many government agencies monitoring ships for illegal sanction-breaking activities. The company says that its AI-powered solutions allow customers, including banks, commodity traders, insurers, government agencies, and major energy and shipping companies to make real-time, predictive intelligence-driven decisions.

“The maritime trade industry is vast and complex with multiple stakeholders and data visibility is low,” said CEO and co-founder Ami Daniel. “Our Predictive Intelligence Platform shines a light on the industry. Increasing regulations around sanctions compliance and carbon emissions provide strong tailwinds for our offering.”

Using a combination of AI and big data, drawn from both public and priority sources, the company provides real-time intelligence and monitoring on vessels creating profiles for every ship along with a history of the vessel’s activities. In 2020, they told Wired magazine they used a combination of basic information such as the IMO numbers and AIS data as well as proprietary satellite imagery, weather data, and route information along with information from clients to build the proprietary profiles of each vessel. 

While sanction surveillance is the primary business, Windward has also been expanding its focus to include new concerns for customers regarding sustainability and the enforcement of environmental regulations. The online portal provides on-demand services for shipowners and all maritime stakeholders, including an alert system, bill of lading (BOL) verification, credit checks, and compliance certificates. 

"Innovation doesn't just come in the form of technology, but also in the form of business services and business models," said Daniel o the launch of the new product. "Our customers and prospects have been asking for even more data-driven services,” which he said was part of the motivation to launch the on-demand online service. 

The company is expected to use the proceeds from the stock offering to further expand its product offering with new AI-based services. Prior to the current stock offering, Windward also conducted a private placement with institutional investors raising approximately $46 million.

“We are delighted with the support we have received, providing us with the firepower to increase investment in our innovative AI-powered platform,” said Daniel. ”Having invested over $25 million into the platform to date and secured many of the world’s leading blue-chip maritime industry participants as customers, we are confident we have built strong foundations for future growth.”

Daniel called the proposed admission to AIM an important milestone for the company. The stock is expected to begin trading on December 6 and in addition to providing capital for the growth of the business a further approximately $11 million will be for certain existing shareholders.